Episode 617 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes

Daily Mail demands browser warning U-turn


The NewsGuard plug-in currently brings up a warning that says the newspaper’s website “generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability”.

It has given this advice since August.

But the matter came to prominence last week, after Microsoft updated its Edge browser app for Android and iOS devices and built in NewsGuard.

At present, NewsGuard must be switched on by users of Microsoft’s Edge app, but the BBC understands there are plans for it to become the default option in the future.

The New York-based service – which is independent of Microsoft – also has ambitions to include its tool in further products from the Windows developer as well as other tech firms.

But for now, it can be used as an add-on extension in the desktop version of web browsers including Edge, Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari.

NewsGuard’s developers.

They said they had already tried to engage with the Daily Mail.

“Our journalist analysts always contact websites if they get a negative rating on any of our nine journalistic criteria. The Mail Online chose not to reply,” co-chief executive Gordon Crovitz, who used to oversee the Wall Street Journal’s business and journalism operations, told the BBC.

“Dozens of news websites have changed their practices based on our journalistic criteria on credibility and transparency in order to become more reliable sources of news.”

The Daily Mail is not the only news source to trigger such a warning.

Visitors to the right-wing US conspiracy site InfoWars, the left-wing US political blog Daily Kos and the Russian government news agency Sputnik also see the same words of advice.


After a long hold out, Commbank turns on Apple Pay

Australians who bank with the Commonwealth Bank and its subsidiary Bankwest can use the contactless payment system to purchase items at the register with their iPhone or Apple Watch.


Like other contactless payment systems, Apple Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to process payments at tap-to-pay terminals, allowing users to pay by holding up their device.


The deal has been a long time in the making and comes after new Commbank CEO Matt Comyn broke ranks in December with other Apple Pay hold outs, NAB and Westpac to announce it would bring the service to its customers. At the time, the other major banks signalled they might follow suit in the future.


Initially, the banks had sought permission to negotiate with Apple as a single group but were denied by Australia’s consumer and competition watchdog.

Previously ANZ had been the only major bank to offer Apple Pay, declining to join the hold out.



’Single-use’ people’s choice for 2018 word


Concern about the environmental impact of plastic straws, bags and disposable coffee cups has seen “single-use” win the people’s vote for the Macquarie Dictionary word of the year.


However, the word – which means intended for disposal after only one use – only beat “me too” by a handful of votes.

Honourable mentions include “hygge”, a Danish word for the practice of creating an environment of cosiness, and “vertical farming”, where food is farmed vertically in stacked structures.


“Milkshake duck”, a term that describes an overnight social media sensation whose positive support quickly ends with closer scrutiny, was the 2017 word of the year


BDE (big dick energy): a sense of self-confidence, unaccompanied by arrogance or conceit.

* Deepfake: a video of a computer-generated likeness of an individual, created using deep learning without the individual’s knowledge, often for the purpose of misinformation, vindictiveness, or satire.


John McAfee has recruited ‘hundreds’ of masked look-alikes for his 2020 presidential bid

Last year, the former antivirus software magnate announced his intention to run as a candidate in the 2020 US presidential election. But in a series of videos posted to Twitter on Tuesday, McAfee claimed he will now have to run his campaign “in exile” because he’s fleeing felony charges brought by the IRS.


“Today a grand jury was convened by the IRS to indict Janice [McAfee, John McAfee’s wife] and myself and four as-yet-unnamed campaign workers, for various tax fraud issues,” he said in one video post, filmed on his “freedom boat” in unnamed tropical waters.


“You’re probably wondering how I’m going to manage my presidential campaign from a boat,” he said in a second video on his Twitter feed on Tuesday.

“[Volunteers] are creating masks of my face which are going to be given to thousands of people in two different groups. First our road warriors who, once a month are going to appear in parks, street corners, restaurants all around America while I speak through loud speakers through them.”

McAfee said a second group would appear in the masks at keynotes and conferences to represent his campaign on the road.

“I will be going to conferences as a surrogate. I will be looking at people through a camera, answering questions, shaking hands as I tell my surrogate to shake hands, and speaking.”

McAfee told CNET he has already had “hundreds” of people sign up to be surrogates for his campaign.





Data encryption laws




5g vs nbn



Joes Podcast Notes for



Xiaomi’s folding phone

(A prototype phone that folds in three)




  • A Xiaomi’s folding phone has been revealed in a teaser video from the company. Both sides of the device can be folded backwards to transform it from a tablet form factor into more of a compact phone size.
  • Xiaomi doesn’t provide many details about its foldable phone, but reveals the device in the video is simply an engineering model only at the moment.
  • Xiaomi has said that they have had to overcome a series of technical problems such as – flexible folding screen technology, and the four-wheel drive folding shaft technology, Its also encountered challenges with the flexible cover technology of the screen. Xiaomi appears to have adapted its MIUI software for the foldable phone, and a video is seen playing on the device before it converts from tablet to phone mode.
  • Xiaomi is set to compete against devices like Samsung’s folding phone prototype and Chinese company Royole’s folding device which i featured in past weeks podcast.
  • Huawei is also reportedly planning to launch a foldable device, and Lenovo has previously said that it was working on bendable phones as well. It’s  likely we will hear a lot more about foldable devices this year…. Stay tuned 🙂

Amazon is trialing its own delivery

robot called Scout



  • It was, of course, just a matter of time before Amazon started using delivery robots. The Amazon Scout is designed to safely get  package to customers premises.
  • These robots are the size of a small esky, and roll along sidewalks at a walking pace. Starting today, these delivery robots will begin delivering packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County in Washington.
  • This is basically how it would work. You order your item via amazon.com or the amazon app. Delivery times stay the same, nothing changes there. The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route but will initially be accompanied by an Amazon employee.
  • Amazon say that six Amazon Scouts were developmented in our labs in Seattle, and were designed very well and they ensured that the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path.
  • I don’t think this is going to work for amazon vey well all. Because how is the delivery robot going to open the gate when it gets to your place ?….
  • From looking at the video clip it can’t open gates,  its got no hands.
  • And how will it climb up steps to get to your front door, I don’t think it can  climb steps yet. A
  • And does the robot require the customer to enter a PIN to get the package out or can anyone open the lid ?.. and lastly … how can the robot leave the package if you’re not home?





  • If your using social media, you’ve probably noticed a lot of posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and this year.
  • According to a tweet from Kate O’neill she ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on your age progression of it and relate that age recognition to those social media platforms in which the posts appeared. If you wanna read the full article on it there’s more on what Kate said just go to our show notes and click on the link.
  • Now … Image recognition algorithms are plenty sophisticated enough to know how to pick out a human face from something else….so if you uploaded an image of a cat 10 years ago and now—as some people did, that particular sample would be easily thrown out as a fake by the facial recognition software and disregard it.
  • Now thanks to this 10 years challenge, there’s is now a very large database of carefully curated photos of people from roughly 10 years ago and now on various platforms.
  • A Facebook spokesman denies having anything to do with the #10YearChallenge. This is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own. “Facebook did not start this trend, and the meme uses photos that already exist on Facebook…. He went on to say that Facebook gains nothing from this meme (besides reminding us of the questionable fashion trends of 2009). As a reminder, Facebook users can choose to turn facial recognition on or off at any time.”

           ( I didn’t know that , how do you do it? )


Google’s Plan To Limit Ad-Blocker Performance On Chrome



  • Top developers of ad-blocking and anti-tracking software are raising the alarm over potential changes coming to Chrome that were recently disclosed in a public Google document. As a result of these changes, at least one company is now threatening potential legal action.
  • The proposed changes would replace the API relied upon by privacy extensions like uBlock and Ghostery with another designed to “diminish the effectiveness of content blocking and ad blocking extensions. The changes would, however, leave some functional basic filters employed by Adblock Plus, which, the site noted, and says that Google has reportedly paid to whitelist its own ads
  • This would basically mean that Google is destroying ad blocking and privacy protection as we know and use it. Ghostery said in a statement. “They ( Google ) pretend to do this for the sake of our privacy and browser performance, however in reality, the users would be left with only very limited ways to prevent third parties from intercepting their surfing behaviour or to get rid of unwanted content.”…… hmmmmmmm
  • Google’s initial reasoning behind the proposed changes, according to its documentation, is to provide “better privacy to users” by preventing extensions from reading “network requests made on the user’s behalf.”

    …This is a developing story…